PLoS One 2017 3;12(5):e0176298. Epub 2017 May 3.
Laboratorio Central de Epidemiología, Centro Médico Nacional La Raza, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social. Ciudad de México, México.
Background: Acute respiratory infections are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Although a viral aetiological agent is estimated to be involved in up to 80% of cases, the majority of these agents have never been specifically identified. Since 2009, diagnostic and surveillance efforts for influenza virus have been applied worldwide. However, insufficient epidemiological information is available for the many other respiratory viruses that can cause Acute respiratory infections.
Methods: This study evaluated the presence of 14 non-influenza respiratory viruses in 872 pharyngeal exudate samples using RT-qPCR. All samples met the operational definition of a probable case of an influenza-like illness or severe acute respiratory infection and had a previous negative result for influenza by RT-qPCR.
Results: The presence of at least one non-influenza virus was observed in 312 samples (35.8%). The most frequent viruses were rhinovirus (RV; 33.0%), human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV; 30.8%) and human metapneumovirus (HMPV; 10.6%). A total of 56 cases of co-infection (17.9%) caused by 2, 3, or 4 viruses were identified. Approximately 62.5% of all positive cases were in children under 9 years of age.
Conclusion: In this study, we identified 13 non-influenza respiratory viruses that could occur in any season of the year. This study provides evidence for the prevalence and seasonality of a wide range of respiratory viruses that circulate in Mexico and constitute a risk for the population. Additionally, our data suggest that including these tests more widely in the diagnostic algorithm for influenza may reduce the use of unnecessary antibiotics, reduce the hospitalisation time, and enrich national epidemiological data with respect to the infections caused by these viruses.